theSync: What is Responsive Design?

For years, I’ve been harping on you to get your website up and running and functional for your customers. Now that you have a website that connects you with your customers you heard that 57% of Internet traffic originates from mobile devices and that sites now have to be responsive. What does it mean to be a responsive website?

This week on theSync, I clarify what responsive means for a website and how you can make your site easier to use on mobile devices.

Responsive Does not Mean a Mobile Template

Making a website responsive is more than setting a different template that’s mobile in appearance. Super HTML coder, Mark Mower states, “Responsive design is an approach that web designers and developers take to adapt the layout of a site to enable small and large screen devices to share the same code base and content without the need of separate website properties.” A responsive website is flexible and will redraw and relayout its content in a predictable way for all screen sizes and resolutions. The designers and coders of your templates will automatically check for the screen width and resolution used in the browser and automatically resize the images, font size, and position of your content without the need for additional templates and seperate code. Really this means that HTML developers need to learn how to actually program.

Responsive Design Provides Consistency

The goal of Responsive Design is to provide a consistent appearance and experience everywhere. This means that your site looks the same, behaves the same, and responds the same on Android, iOS, Windows 8, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems. Back-in-the-day, a site will look and behave completely differently on another operating system. On today’s modern Interwebs, you will be clowned if someone finds out you do this.

How Can I Make My Site Responsive

If you have a hand coded site, this is very hard. Your developer will need to add in additional code to check for screen size and layout, then recode your site to relayout your content. If you’ve followed my advice and started out with a decent WordPress installation, you can head out on the Interwebs and Google top responsive wordpress templates and you’ll find a plethora of templates and designs out there.

I’d love to know your thoughts on Responsive Design and read how you’re handling mobile devices on your site. Please share your ideas with us in the comments of this responsive site.

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theSync: Must Have Plugins for WordPress

This week on theSync we talk about the plugins you must have installed on Your WordPress blog.

You should install the Twitter and Facebook buttons and widgets on your blog. If you are a frequent listener of theSync, you will know that I use the Twitter buttons to help people easily share these blog posts and follow me at the end of the blog. If you’re active on Facebook, I’d recommend adding the Facebook widget for WordPress giving your readers the ability to share your posts on their timeline.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization has become a mini-industry onto itself. Simply put, SEO is writing your posts using keyword friendly paragraphs. The Yoast SEO plugin helps you check your blog posts to see if they are optimized for search engines. It’s easy to install, has a friendly interface and is free.

We talked about Google Analytics before and you should have this installed and activated on your blog. After I installed GA, I found out that I have a significant following in Serbia and Montenegro.

Lastly, you should install the WordPress Mobile Pack. In a day and age of smartphones your blog needs to support desktop and mobile users. The Mobile Pack will serve a less bandwidth oppressive theme to your mobile users.

Alright. What are you waiting for. Get out there and download these plugins. Blog on.